Two hobos walking along railroad tracks after being put off a train. One is carrying a bindle.
A bindle is the bag, sack, or carrying device stereotypically used by the American sub-culture of hobos. A bindlestiff was a robber preying on hobos and the bindle's contents.
In modern popular culture the bindle is portrayed as a stick with cloth or a blanket tied around one end for carrying items, with the entire array being carried over the shoulder. Particularly in cartoons, the bindles' sacks usually have a polka-dotted or bandanna design. However, in actual use the bindle can take many forms.
Though bindles are rarely used anymore, they are still widely seen in popular culture as a prevalent anachronism.
The term bindle may descend from the German/Yiddish word Bündel, meaning something wrapped up in a blanket and bound by cord for carrying (cf. originally Middle Dutch "bundle"), or have arisen as a portmanteau of "bind" and "spindle".